Winter is high season for hygge in Winnipeg.
If you are unfamiliar with the term, hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is loosely translated as a Danish word for creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. Relishing a cup of warm tea is hygge. Sitting around a toasty bonfire is hygge. And there’s nothing more hygge than gathering together with friends or family, especially when the cold months try to keep everyone hunkered down indoors.
So put on an extra warm pair of socks, an oversized scarf, and get hygging here in the city.
Play a board game – Isolating electronic devices are not a part of hygge. However, a good round of Candy Land is. Grab a group and select one the 1,200 board games from the soaring floor to ceiling library at Across the Board. The cheerful, welcoming café offers up a fresh and fun menu of small bites, pizzas, sandwiches, and desserts to share or savour yourself.
Visit a Nordic spa – Slow down and experience the warmth, scents, and serenity at Thermëa by Nordik Spa-Nature. Go with a small batch of buddies and quietly converse in the outdoor thermal pools surrounded by snow. Or spend some quality alone time reading in a heated hammock or inside the relaxation chalet with a cup of tea.
Find the right olfactory experience in either the orange or eucalyptus steam sauna, or during the delightful display of an Aufguss ritual where relaxation artisans place balls of ice infused with essential oils on the stove to alternate the essences.
Have a hot cuppa – The Danes like a glass of gløgg (mulled wine) with their hygge, so take a page from their book and find something that warms your cup and soul. Try a tea cocktail at Amsterdam Tea Room, such as the soothing London Fog made with Kenyan Earl Grey gin, Madagascar vanilla bean, and steamed milk. Sip some of Forth’s maple thyme cider - an aromatic mix of house-made granny smith and gala apple cider, thyme, maple syrup, cinnamon, cloves, and lemon. Or pick a seasonal latte from some of the city’s hippest coffee spots.
For our “best of” coffee shop listings click here.
Walk in nature - Taking a walk and getting close to nature — with all the sights, sounds and smells that come with it — is the perfect way to hygge, especially if you reward yourself with a hot drink and sweet treat afterwards. Trek on foot around FortWhyte Alive’s seven kilometres of groomed trails through the marsh and forest, and see if you can spot the urban oasis’ herd of bison in the distance. Or, head just outside the city limits to Oak Hammock Marsh for a snowshoe across this important ecosystem that plays home to numerous animals even in the winter.